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Photo Credit: AEW

Chris Jericho: The Learning Tree Keeps Things Fresh And Fun, You Have To Read The Room

Chris Jericho had to change his character because he knew fans had begun to hate him.

The FTW Champion defended his FTW Championship at AEW Double or Nothing, following a heel turn against Hook some weeks back. His new character has leant into the fan’s current dislike of him, creating an overly sweet, motivational teacher character called “The Learning Tree”.

Chris Jericho spoke with Los Angeles’ KCAL News about AEW, and his current character in the company. He called it “fresh and fun”, and how its helping keep him invigorated after 33-years in the business.

“It’s amazing. When you have been in the business as long as I have, 33 years, you always wanna evolve and revamp your character. Kind of get some diversity with what you’re doing, so I think re-establishing myself under this Learning Tree gives you a new vibe, reinvigorates you, and keeps things fresh and fun.”

Jericho went on to explain how wrestling is like a soap opera, and how he had to lean into people not liking him right now by changing his character.

He claimed that people “hate” him, and that is why he had to pivot to his “Learning Tree” champion.

“The one thing about wrestling that’s very important is you have to understand the concepts of being a good guy, and when that starts getting stale, of being a bad guy.

“It’s kind of like when people say, ‘It’s like a soap opera.’ In that way, it is a soap opera. You’re a good guy, and then suddenly something happens, and then you don’t like ‘em for a while. You have to be able to read the room on that and know when people hate you. People are really not liking me right now, so it’s time to kind of change. And that’s ok, that’s the beauty of wrestling, you can just lean into it.“

“I take great pride in kind of making people angry with things cause that’s what you want to do. You’re playing a character. When Chris Jericho comes on screen in AEW, it’s different from the Chris Jericho you’re talking to right now. That’s the way it should be. A larger-than-life character is kind of what wrestling is all about, and I embrace that wholly.”

Dave Penzer: Chris Jericho is The Greatest Of All Time

Dave Penzer is one man who is a big fan of Chris Jericho.

Penzer spoke with WrestleZone while promoting his new book, Sitting Ringside: Volume 1. During the chat, he talked about Chris Jericho, who he has known since his days in WCW as an announcer.

He claimed that Jericho is the GOAT in reinventing himself, given how often he has managed to stay relevant over his three-decade career.

“First of all, that was all Chris’ idea. It was a 100% Chris’ idea. I might have thrown in something, he might have said, ‘I don’t like it.’ And I’d shut my mouth again, just riding down the road. But Terry Taylor got it approved and we ran with it,” Penzer said. “The funny thing that always cracks me up — people like to talk about ‘The Greatest of All Time’ and I don’t know if that’s an argument that I want to get into — but I do think that Chris Jericho is the Greatest of All Time in the wrestling business of reinventing himself successfully.”